Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sure, it's a leaf, but...

...what ELSE does it look like?

Here's a shot of the other side. A little worse:

I think it'd be fun to do another one and trim it with black eyelash.

(BTW, I'm doing an afghan-along with some friends, and this is one of the squares of the week. We're using the book, 200 Knitted Blocks.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm not a shawl person, but...

...I am IN LOVE with this:

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from IK (too lazy to get up and check issue)
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, 3.1 skeins*
Needles: Addi Turbo lace size 5
Modifications: bigger yarn than laceweight, nupps done as slip 3, p2tog, psso instead of the dreaded p5tog
Discussion: I got coerced into doing some charity knitting. "NO PRESSURE, but if you can do something for this auction I can get some letters of recommendation written on Hayden's behalf for Currey Ingram." (Yeah, this girl is not really someone I'd call a friend.) I figured something like a Swallowtail Shawl knit out of a very luxurious yarn in a very pretty, springy color would get top dollar, so I went to work. I chose something bigger than the laceweight the pattern called for so that I'd have a better chance of getting it done in time. And I tried, honestly I did. I wanted so badly to get it done - I do not like making promises that I have to break. But there was just no way. The San Antonio trip for that damn basketball game really cut into my knitting time, but I think even if I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have gotten it done. It turned out okay, though. I don't need the letters since we're not even applying for CI after all, and I really fell in love with this shawl. It was pretty before I blocked it, but then the detail came out:

(Man, I wish my camera skillz were as good as Jared's. I try for the artsy closeup and I end up with crap. But I tried.)

This was my second lace project, but definitely not my last. What shawl next? Hanami? Icarus? Kimono?

* - I say .1 because with 2 rows left before binding off, I ran out of yarn. Bummer! The shop I bought the yarn from didn't have any more left, but fortunately another shop in town had the same color. It was a different dye lot, but I was so close to the end that I didn't think it would matter.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Regifting a swap prezzie?!??

Okay, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, but I just saw some pics of prezzies included in a package sent by the person I spoiled in a Ravelry swap. In this pic was something that was EXACTLY like something I had gifted to her! (Follow me here? Pics are of A's prezzies from B. I sent B her prezzies.) It's not something that seems like it'd be totally common, so I'm wondering about this...

But then again, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. I am on steriods, after all. (Bum ankle.) And I've had an incredibly bad day/week/month.

Two years ago, I whined to y'all about Hayden not being accepted into Vanderbilt's TRIAD summer camp for autistic kids because he wasn't high functioning enough. Today at the end of his neuropsychological evaluation, I asked the doctor if, by the preliminary scores, whether he thought we should apply for Currey Ingram, a private school for kids with learning differences. He used to work for them, so he knows exactly why type of kids they accept. He, without sounding as mean as I'm about to sound, said no. Hayden's speech and language scores are so low that they bring down his total score below the level that Currey Ingram accepts. Twice in the last several weeks has the term "mentally retarded" been used in reference to him. ("I'm not saying he's mentally retarded...", "His previous IQ scores suggest he's mentally retarded, but we know that's not the case.")

Makes me feel like I'm giving my child more credit than he deserves. Are my glasses too rose-colored? (If you knew me in person, you'd definitely answer no to that question!)

Currey Ingram has been our goal for the past month. Now that's taken away, and I feel utterly hopeless. I have no idea what we'll do. Public school proved to be horrendous for him (won't go into details), and Currey Ingram is the only private school that we had a shot at. There are no other private schools in Nashville that would accept him. I've been homeschooling him for the last month, but I'm not cut out for this so we have to change. The preliminary plan is to up his therapy hours from 11 to 15 and bring in a tutor for up to 2 hours each day. We can afford that now, but when we reach 100 visits of therapy, our insurance cuts off and we'll have to pay full price. That'll be roughly $1500 each week, not including the tutor. That's a hell of a lot more than the $26,000/year price tag we were worried about at Currey Ingram. And I can't work a whole lot more than I am now - Hayden is with me during the day.



Anyone have any drugs they want to send me???

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Woot! New favorite sweater!!!

Pattern: Architectural Rib Pullover by Norah Gaughan - pattern in The Natural Knitter - I did the smallest size
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, maybe 7 skeins but I lost track because I've become completely unorganized
Needles: Denise size 5 circs, Inox size 4 circs for sleeve ribbing and turtleneck
Discussion: OMG! I love this sweater!!! These pictures don't do it justice. I kept having Mike take more and more shots, but then I realized that the camera will never capture the full awesomeness of it so I settled. My mom bought me the book and the yarn for Christmas, and I cast on the day after. It took me a lot longer to finish this than it should because I kept getting interrupted by other projects (onset of knitting ADD*). I became somewhat monogamous with it again during the NCAA Tournament because I found that as long as I was sitting on the couch, wearing nasty sweatclothes and working on this sweater, my Tigers would win. (There - that's the reason they lost the championship. I was there rather than at home in my teal sweatpants from the 80s and my sorority sweatshirt that's 5 sizes too big for me. Totally my fault.)

This is a great pattern. It's such an unusual design - you knit the big ribbed, cable-y part from the bottom front up, put a neckhole in, go down (hee hee) the other side, then pick up stitches along the sides and knit outwards to the sleeves. It was so fun, and very easy to follow. And I think Felted Tweed is a perfect yarn for this project. Just the right amount of tweed, and it's lightweight enough so that you don't swelter in the high turtleneck.

Speaking of the turtleneck, that's the ONLY thing I'd change in my sweater. See that little bump right under the back of my neck? I think if the turtleneck weren't so high, that would lie down flat. I like the look of the high neck, but I'd also like the sweater to lie down in the back. But I'm fine with it.

Norah - if you're reading my blog, thank you so much for such a great sweater. YOU RULE when it comes to interesting design!!! I can't wait to do something out of Knitting Nature. I think my first project is going to be the skirt on the front.

Before I do that, though, I have other things to finish. I am making a promise to myself to finish this list of things before casting on for anything else (exception to this rule is below):

1. Swallowtail Shawl - I told someone (notice I didn't say "friend") that I'd make this for a silent auction because she said if I did, she could get some letters of recommendation written by some very influential people to help me get Hayden into this private school we're hoping he'll go to in the fall. I tried my hardest, but it just didn't happen. I could've finished it today, but I've run out of yarn. Yes, I am 2 rows away from binding off, and I've run out of yarn. And the shop I bought it from doesn't have any more of that color. M-f'er. I'm not totally concerned about the dye lot - after all, I am insanely close to being done. I'm going to go to another LYS in town to see if they have it. If not, I found that color on Jimmy Beans Wool's website, so I'll order it. One f-ing skein for 3 f-ing rows.
2. sleeves for a friend - those got put aside when the urgency of the shawl popped up, but now they're resurfacing
3. Baby Surprise Jacket - I started this for that auction as well - 2 knitted things would get me more letters of recommendation, right? I'm not even 1/3 of the way done. Oh well. I'm using Blue Sky Organic Cotton in gender neutral colors, so whatever size it turns out to be will determine who the lucky recipient is out of the pregnant people I know.

The exception to this rule is/are afghan squares. My LYS is doing a afghan KAL, and I'm a sucker for a KAL! I wasn't going to do it because I know I have too much stuff going on, but I caved. I've got 5 great colors of Cascade 220 to work with, so I'm looking forward to this. The shop owner will tell everyone in the KAL what 2 squares to add every Friday. I figure these squares will be my portable projects - every knitter needs one of those.

I've got lots of things waiting in the wings to be cast on for, so I better get to knitting!

(* - Funny ADD story: Hayden's occupational therapist is working on his cursive with him. They've mastered a, c, d, g, e, and l. Last week they started working on putting letters together to form words, and she gave me a sheet for him to practice at home. One of them was "add". I looked at her and asked why she was having him write ADD. Wow - do I live in the land of disorders or what?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My team played in the National Championship game, and all I got were these pictures.*

Let's not even talk about the game. That ending has haunted my nightmares since Monday night. But it was an incredible experience, being there, and I did get some pictures of me with very tall black men (tall and black are both plusses in my book, yet somehow I married the whitest man in America - at least he's tall):

These 2 guys, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose (Derrick is the one on the phone) are going to be NBA stars next year, and you can say you read the blog of someone who has met them!

If you watched any Memphis basketball this past season, you'll know that this man, Joey Dorsey, has the nicest shoulders of anyone on the planet! I met 2 of his childhood friends before the game, and they said he was cut up like that when we was 15. Dang!!!

The little woman beside Sean Taggart is his grandmother. She is about the size of one of his legs. He was so cute with her. Towards the end of the season I found him incredibly sexy with his pointy, evil-looking goatee, but all bad boy images of him I had were wiped away seeing him with itty bitty Grandma. Awwww!

Pierre Niles looks really fat on TV, but in person he's not fat, just thick. Guess he's a prime example of how the camera adds 10 pounds.

Ahhh, Cedric Henderson - what to say about him? I've known him for about 14 years and have had a crush on him for that long. He played for Memphis in the mid 90s then went pro for a while with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That didn't work out too well, so now he plays overseas in Greece. I hadn't seen him since 1996, when I saw my beloved Tigers lose in the first round of the tournament to Drexel in Albequerque, but he remembered who I was. It was fun to take a picture with him, 12 years later.

I took knitting with me on this trip, but not a lot got done. On the way there I had every intention of working on my Swallowtail Shawl, but when the guy sitting next to me starting buying me beers, I decided to put the yarn away. Lace and beer don't mix. (BTW, this guy wasn't a stranger. He's our old realtor's ex-husband and he was headed to the game as well.) On the way home I didn't even try to knit. I had been up for over 24 hours at that point, so I needed to take a little nap. Lace and lack of sleep don't mix, either. Oh well.

*Did you notice how my beads were wrapped around one boob in every picture? It's not I'm that well-endowed so how they managed to stay in place so long is beyond me.